Is your social media presence working for you, or against you? By Lydia Desmond

FACT: 80% of employers will search for you on social media before making a job offer. This is referred to as ‘Social Recruiting’.

Social Recruiting has increased by 10% within the last year with employers using search engines, such as Google, Yahoo and Bing, to find information on applicants. If you have any public social media profiles, they can be seen by recruiters!

Employers want to know your online persona supports their brand. With 60% of UK businesses using social media to market their services or products, this is more essential than ever to ensure your employees help support brand marketing and not bring negativity towards it.

What are potential employers looking for? They want positive information that verifies your qualifications and supports the information on your CV; information that other people are posting about you, which may be complementary or unfavourable; and damaging information that gives them a reason not to hire you!

After working within the recruitment industry over the last decade, I have seen first-hand the increase in background checks via social media, often undertaken before a candidate is invited to interview. As great as a CV is to highlight your professional experience, by opting to research candidates on social media they can then get an insight in the person behind the skills. Branding is essential for success in the 21st Century and social media is a risk to any business. Any negativity that comes to an employee can cause negativity towards the brand and potentially lead to loss of revenue.

It’s not all negative. Social media can be used to promote a positive image and showcase your personality. For example, LinkedIn is a professional networking site that if used effectively can enhance your reputation and credibility within the professional environment.

You should use this type of social media to demonstrate your professional qualifications, showcase your great communication skills and use a professional profile image to enhance your corporate persona. Participate in discussions on posts and offer insightful and thought-provoking information. You must always remember to be respectful, do not use abusive or inappropriate language and do not belittle someone else simply for having another opinion – show that you value other views, and that you can take them on board and respect them. Thank people for their input on your posts and encourage positive communication between contributors. This shows employers that you are an inclusive and forward-thinking individual that will be an asset to their company and their brand.  If you are unsure on what is out there about you, you can simply Google yourself.

Ask yourself;

Would I employ someone with the same publicly visible content as me?

If it was my business, would this promote it positivity?

Do I know what privacy settings I have on my social media accounts?

Alternatively, if this isn’t something you want to focus on managing throughout your career then its best to check your privacy settings. All social media platforms offer the option to have your account private; you can decide who sees what.

Above all, remember you are your own brand. Protect it and practice positive promotion of yourself.


10 Social Media Statistics You Need to Know in 2019 [Infographic]

Author: Lydia Desmo

Added Feb 2022 by the TPSO team: Readers may find this additional resource with updated information beneficial